BY JENNIFER DEMERITT | December 1, 2010 | Lifestyle
In the 1970s, the so-called Aspen State Teacher’s College (actually a group of local pranksters) ran a tongue-in-cheek orientation program for “freshman” skiers each fall. Today the ASTC lives on in the Aspen Historical Society’s “Out of Your Mind, Body and Spirit: Voices of Aspen, 1975.”
“We used the ASTC as a framework for the exhibit because it was fun and irreverent, which is what Aspen was about,” says Tom Egan, the society’s communications director. “For visitors, the exhibit presents major national and international touchstones that show our cultural history. For locals, it’s a walk down memory lane.”
First, a sample of the famous stuff: Hunter S. Thompson lived in Woody Creek, the cover photo for John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High was shot on a local stream, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac wrote “Landslide” nearby. On a less inspiring note, pro skier Vladimir “Spider” Sabich was killed by his girlfriend in their Starwood home.
Other exhibits recapture the era’s spirit, like the Ski Bum Room, complete with couch bed, ironing board with ski waxing platform and Farrah Fawcett poster. There’s also an interactive walk through the town as it was from 1978 to 1980, the brainchild of visiting MIT students experimenting with software for virtual reality applications. It’s the ultimate tribute to Aspen—because where else would a group of near-geniuses come to goof off and end up making history. Wheeler/Stallard Museum, 620 West Bleeker St., 970-925-3721; aspenhistorysociety.com
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ASPEN HISTORICAL SOCIETY